Editor's note: This story was originally published Oct. 12, 2006
Do you believe in ghosts? Stories have circulated for years about haunted places throughout the metro-east.
Here are a few of the more storied places. Take a look, then you decide. ...
GATES OF HELL
Rumors have been flying for years among teens and young adults about the Gates of Hell in Collinsville.
Legend has it that this series of "gates" is a pathway to the dark underworld. If you drive through all the gates, entering the last gate at the stroke of midnight, you will be plucked from your vehicle and sent to Dante's Inferno.
Located just off Lebanon Road, about a mile outside of Collinsvillle, the first of seven gates, stretches over the road --- a railroad overpass covered with years of graffiti from those courageous enough to check out the legend. There, survivors leave behind their names and date them.
"Enter at your own risk" appears at the entrance to the second gate.
"It was a dare to go," said Mary Beth Boyce, of Belleville, 44, who remembered visiting the site as a teenager.
Rumors say that a young boy who died near one of the gates still haunts the place, trying to keep drivers from passing through it.
"One gate was on a hill and legend had it that if you put your car on the hill in neutral, the boy would push it back down the hill and his handprints could be seen on the back of your car,"said Boyce, who made it through four of the seven gates.
Some teenagers have claimed to hear footsteps walking next to their parked car near a gate, voices or unexplainable noises like large raindrops hitting the car on a clear night.
A few say they have even seen the "hellhounds" standing under a gate.
All gates but the seventh are railroad overpasses located on country roads outside of Collinsville.
That final gate, still a railroad overpass, is hidden back in the woods on a grassy path created by the thousands of cars who have gone looking for it over the last several decades.
WASHINGTON STREET GRILLE
The Washington Street Grille, at 318 E. Washington St. in Belleville, is rumored to be haunted by two spirits.
As the story goes, in the 1900s, a female teacher hung herself in the building shortly after a child had fallen to his death down a stairway. Back then, the building was used by the Evangelical Zion Lutheran Grade School.
The spirit of the teacher and the student were thought to roam the building. But for current owners, Joy and Rob Marino, such experiences are only relived through stories of employees and managers who worked in the building when it was formerly a Pasta House restaurant.
"They've never bothered us," Joy Marino said. "We've heard different bits and pieces of stories over the years."